GE emerges lone bidder for $2 bn Nigeria rail concession

GE emerges lone bidder for $2 bn Nigeria rail concession

Mar 30, 2017: A consortium led by General Electric submitted the only bid for a Nigerian railway concession project worth around $2 billion (R26.13 billion) for two lines connecting northern cities to others in the south, a procurement process adviser reportedly said.

Bids had to be submitted by March 30. Nigeria has been looking for partners to overhaul its ageing railway system, built mainly by British colonial rulers before independence in 1960.

Economic growth in Africa's most populous nation has been hampered for decades by the dilapidated road and rail network.

The concession will cover about 3,500 km (2,200 miles) of existing narrow-gauge lines from the southwestern commercial capital, Lagos, to Kano in the north, and southeastern oil hub Port Harcourt to Maiduguri in the northeast.

"We received one bid today," said Fola Fagbule, vice president and co-head of advisory at Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) which ran a procurement process after being appointed lead adviser by the government.

The only bid, led by GE, was in partnership with Transnet of South Africa, Dutch-based APM Terminals and China's Sinohydro Consortium.

Nigeria's upper chamber of parliament, the Senate, said in November it would investigate the railway concession over possible violations by Nigerian officials.

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